Smarter Babies Take Their Naps

According to a new study, frequent naps can give a boost to the brain power of a growing baby.

University of Arizona psychologists tested 48 babies (all of them 15 months old) by playing nonsensical sounds during learning sessions, all of which contained one specific pattern.

Before testing their level of attention for those similar sounds, the babies were divided into groups who would hear the sounds either after taking a nap or without any nap at all.

The babies who took naps in between learning and testing sessions performed better than those who didn’t. The babies who got no sleep did recognize the phrases they learned earlier, but those who slept in between those sessions were better equipped to handle abstract learning, the ability to recognize general patterns in new information.

Psychological Science August 2006; 17(8): 670
Science Blog August 14, 2006